As digital technologies become increasingly commonplace in schools, it’s more important than ever for school management teams to ensure their internal IT security is up to scratch. After all, a data breach or other cyber-attack could have devastating consequences, not just for the school itself but also for the students and staff involved.
So, what can be done to bolster reliable IT support for schools? Below, we’ve outlined a few key steps that every school should take.
Implement comprehensive end-user training
All staff members should receive comprehensive training on cybersecurity best practices, including how to spot potential attacks and what to do if they suspect their school’s systems have been compromised. Staff should also be encouraged to report any suspicious activity to the relevant authorities.
Restrict access to sensitive data
Only those who absolutely need access to sensitive data should be able to view or edit it. This might involve implementing role-based access controls, which allow administrators to set different permissions for different users. For example, a teacher might be able to view student records but not edit them, while a school counsellor might be able to both view and edit records.
Encrypt all data
All data stored on the school’s systems should be encrypted, from student records and contact information to staff payroll information. This will make it much harder for attackers to access or make sense of the data, even if they are able to breaching the school’s defences.
Keep all systems up to date
Outdated software is one of the leading causes of data breaches, so it’s crucial that all systems are kept up-to-date with the latest security patches. Automated updates can help simplify this process by ensuring that all systems are automatically updated as soon as new patches become available.
As digital technologies become increasingly commonplace in schools, it’s more important than ever for school management teams to ensure their internal IT security is up-to-scratch. By implementing comprehensive end-user training, restricting access to sensitive data, encrypting all stored data and keeping all systems up-to-date with the latest security patches, schools can significantly reduce their risk of suffering a devastating cyber-attack.